Celtic latest: Key player returns to fitness, defender’s injury causes concern

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Celtic have been handed a major boost after striker Leigh Griffiths declared himself fit and ready for action.

The 28-year-old has been struggling with a knee injury that kept him out of the league games against Hibs, Dundee, Hearts and Livingston, as well as the Betfred Cup semi-final win over Hearts and the two Europa League group matches against RB Leipzig.

A general view of Celtic Park. Picture: SNS Group

A general view of Celtic Park. Picture: SNS Group

However, he made a goalscoring return to action, netting the third in last month’s 3-0 win over Hamilton at the Hope Stadium. during a 15-minute appearance as a substitute.

The striker said: “My injury has cleared up and I’m ready to kick on. You always want to be involved.

“When you’re injured, you don’t like being away from the team, especially if they’re having success - you want to be a part of it.”

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Leigh Griffiths shows his support for the rainbow laces campaign. Picture: SNS Group

Leigh Griffiths shows his support for the rainbow laces campaign. Picture: SNS Group

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“We’ve got a lot of games this month. If I can stay injury free, hopefully I can get back to scoring for club and country.”

“I just need to be ready when I’m called upon - making an impact like I did against Hamilton.”

Meanwhile, Dedryck Boyata is a major doubt for Celtic’s match against Red Bull Salzburg in the Europa League.

The Belgian international suffered a hamstring injury in Sunday’s Betfred Cup win over Aberdeen and while the Hoops could potentially be without the defender until the new year, Brendan Rodgers is hopeful that Boyata could be back before the end of a busy month.

Jozo Simunovic could be restored to the starting line-up to partner Filip Benkovic in central defence, with Celtic needing a point against the Austrians to qualify for the Europa League knockout stage.